News: Hennepin County awards grants to improve community mental wellbeing and housing stability

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Hennepin County Minnesota


Contact: Lori Imsdahl, Hennepin County communications, 612-348-5969

Hennepin County awards grants to improve community mental wellbeing and housing stability

Hennepin County’s Community Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP) announced this week the recipients of its first ever cross-sector innovation initiative (CSII) mini grants. The grants were awarded to eight individuals in the community who submitted a project proposal that addresses the impact of COVID-19 on community mental wellbeing and housing stability.

The CSII mini grants total $3,000 and the projects they fund will support diverse communities in Hennepin County, including Native American, African, African American, Asian, low-income renters, youth, elders, East and South Minneapolis, Hopkins, and Brooklyn Park. Many of these communities have been disproportionality affected by the pandemic.

CSII mini grant projects include:

  • Africa, let’s talk: A two-series community podcast with a physician and a psychologist
  • Asian American Healing Series: Virtual healing event led by Asian American healers
  • Intergenerational COVID-19 response from Little Earth: Mask making sessions for Little Earth youth and elders, and Facebook live sessions about masks
  • Peace in the valley: A family event at a housing complex with masks and hotdogs for kids, drawings for adults, and a survey to learn how COVID-19 is affecting residents
  • Project protect and play: Info and items to encourage East African families to engage in play
  • Self-care packages for Dow Tower: Self-care packages for adults and individuals with disabilities in low-income public housing
  • Stay at home stay safe bingo: Bingo games for socially isolated Native American elders
  • Summer learning kits: Distribution of summer learning kits at Sabathani Community Center

“It was exciting to see all the ideas and solutions community members came up with to address mental wellbeing and housing stability related to COVID-19,” says Karen Nikolai, Hennepin County CHIP coordinator. “People had ideas that we partners around the table never would have thought of. The CSII mini grant initiative solidifies our belief that communities know what’s best when we take the time to listen.”


Second round of mini grants now open  

CHIP is now accepting applications for a second round of mini grants that address mental wellbeing and housing stability. For more information, visit Applications are due Wednesday, August 12, 2020.


About Hennepin County’s Community Health Improvement Partnership

CHIP is a coalition of Hennepin County partners that target community health issues together for greater impact. CHIP partners include the public, private and nonprofit sectors with representation from public health, health systems, health plans, social service organizations, housing developers, housing providers, cities, schools, spiritual/faith communities, and more. For more about CHIP, visit

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